ConocoPhillips, New Standard Kick Off Goldwyer Shale Campaign

ConocoPhillips and New Standard Energy kicked off their three-well drilling program at the Goldwyer shale gas project in Australia's Canning Basin last week.

On Aug. 18 the companies spudded the Nicolay No. 1 well with the MB Century Rig #14, with plans to drill to a target depth of approximately 11,318 feet (3,450 meters).

The well's primary objective is to gather a comprehensive, modern data set over a large section of the Goldwyer formation, the primary target, via a detailed program consisting of mud logging, full coring and electric wireline logs to be taken over a significant thickness of prospective Goldwyer formation.

Information regarding the secondary targets of the overlying Bongabinni and Nita formations will also be gathered, New Standard said in a statement.

The Nicolay No. 1 marks to start of the first intensive, modern drilling program undertaken in more than 30 years in the southern Canning Basin, said New Standard Managing Director Sam Willis in a statement.

"Despite the early-stage nature of the Goldwyer Project, the combination of New Standard's pre-drill technical evaluation, the potential resource size as estimated by independent third parties and the technical input from Goldwyer co-venturer ConocoPhillips provides confidence to the company that the drill program was based on a solid foundation," Willis said.

"The data we will obtain from the mud logs and electric wireline logs together with the full cores that we retrieve will provide an important first look at the prospectivity of the Goldwyer formation and valuable information for future wells and subsequent phases of the exploration program," Willis commented.

The Nicolay No. 1 drilling plans were delayed by two weeks due to identified faults in a control panel of the rig, New Standard reported earlier this month.

The Goldwyer shale contained 764 Trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of risked gas in place and 229 Tcf of risked recoverable gas, the largest estimate for any basin in Australia, according an April 2011 report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration on world shale gas resources.

Karen Boman has more than 10 years of experience covering the upstream oil and gas sector. Email Karen at


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